Siblings. They know us our entire lives. They are constant … there from the beginning and there after our parents. They are there at life events, big and small; cheer our accomplishments; lend shoulders to lean on and share our childhood memories. My parents often said ‘Friends come and go but family will always be there.’

As the only girl with three brothers I would not have it any other way. I love having brothers and never missed having a sister as brothers are awesome. My brothers taught me what’s cool and what’s not; to laugh only at funny things, no giggling allowed; not take the nuns too seriously; ignore gossip and be real. They never teased me for crying at movies and never put me down. Their influence, guidance, love, kindness, support and friendship are a big part of who I am today.

My eldest brother, B drove me to my weekly ballet lessons in elementary school. In college, he sent money and a brotherly letter before spring break. He taught me how to navigate the city, search for employment and provided interview tips for my first real job after college. He was always an ear to listen and provide positive encouragement.

My older brother, R, luckily was four grades ahead of me in school to avoid comparison by the nuns. Phew! He always had time to play with us younger kids, let me tag along with his friends and showed me how to throw and catch a baseball. He always looked out for us and stood up for us when we were too young to stand up for ourselves. He patiently taught me to drive and took me to tour colleges. He is a natural leader and always willing to lend a hand and advice. It’s probably because of his influence that none of us made any huge mistakes in life.

My younger brother, J was my childhood playmate and we were together almost constantly. With only two years between us, my childhood would have been lonely without him. We often occupied ourselves badgering each other while playing board games and building forts. Little did we know, a strong sibling bond between us was forming which is still going strong today. I’ve always been protective of my little bro but he doesn’t need it. He’s got a keen insight and is always the word of reason and foresight.

My brothers … my best friends, kind and loving, true gentlemen who always have my back. They will always be special to me. I’m blessed.
* * * * *
Kate Spade striped designs are usually done in black stripes and hot pink accents. It is a challenge to get clean lines stenciling with black airbrush color. So, I decided to use a bronze color for the stripes and muted pink for the flowers.

Kate Spade Heart Cookies
Heart Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for detail tinted Soft Pink with AmeriColor Violet and AmeriColor Deep Pink
Royal Icing for detail tinted Green with AmeriColor Avocado Green
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Wilton Star Tip #18
Wilton Leaf Tip #352
Air Brush Kit or Wilton Color Mist
AmeriColor Airbrush Sheen Color (Copper)
Narrow Stripes Stencil

Outline and flood cookie with #2 tip in white icing. Let dry overnight.

Place stencil on cookie. Spray with copper airbrush color. Gently lift stencil.
Let dry 30 minutes.

Pipe flowers with #18 star tip in pink icing. Pipe leaves with #352 leaf tip in green icing. 
Let dry overnight.



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This is the beginning of Year 7 of my blog and post 224. It all began back in January 2013 with my first post entitled
I Spy Cookies, and these are the first words published …

You know that look when someone spots a platter of cookies and all they have to do is pick one up and take a bite? You know that look when their eyes light up and the edge of their mouth turns up? You know that look that precedes the smile just before the first taste of a cookie? 

In a blog post later that year, I wrote about how we first fell in love with cookies here

Who wants cookies? I hear me, me, me! We fell in love with them as toddlers when we ate our first cookie that fit so perfectly in our tiny hands. Then, we asked for another and another. We’ve been hooked ever since! 

Since then, hopefully, my cookie decorating and photography skills have improved a bit. As I begin this year, I have lots of new ideas for cookies and cutters yet to be used. Check out cookie blog posts from the very beginning at the Index Page and the Archives in the right column.

Follow along and stay tuned ...

These Bambi cookies were a challenge to roll out and flouring the cutter for every cookie was essential to loosen the legs from the cutter. I kept the design simple for these cute cookies made for a special baby girl.

Bambi Cookies
Deer Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining, flooding and detail tinted Rose Pink with Wilton Pink, Wilton Red and Wilton Brown
Royal Icing for detail tinted White with AmeriColor Super White
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Wilton Leaf Tip #352

Outline cookie with #2 tip in pink icing.

Flood cookie with pink icing. Let sit 45 minutes.

Pipe leaves with #352 leaf tip in pink and white detail icing.

Let dry overnight.



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Never Say Never. We’ve all heard that adage a million times and why is that? Because so often when one says 'I will never ….' somewhere down the road those words come back to haunt us. Things change and it’s so easy to do that thing we said we would never do. If I said it once, I’ve said it one hundred times …. 'I will never have an artificial Christmas tree. It goes against my grain. I love the smell of a freshly cut evergreen in the house. blah, blah, blah'  Alas, my own words have come back to haunt me.

For my entire life, some of my best memories are the annual trek to the Christmas tree lot strung with holiday lights to choose the perfect tree. We never went to a tree farm with hack saw to cut down a fresh tree. Although, there was that one Christmas back in 1965 when my mother thought it was a great idea to trim the top of the blue spruce pine situated at the corner of our house for our tree that year. So on a cold December day (ya see, December was always a bitterly cold and snowy month on the calendar before global warming), the four of us kids and my Mom watched Dad as he sawed and sawed and sawed to slice through the trunk of the tree. We were all so excited as Dad dragged the tree to the back door of the house. And that’s as far as he got with that tree as there was no way it would fit through the door. We all had a good laugh except Dad who never thought cutting that tree was a good idea in the first place. Dad was right! That was the day we all learned that in the expanse of the outdoors, things look a lot smaller. But I digress.

Every December my husband and I do the trek to the nursery to spend a small fortune for a tree, throw it in the back of the truck, lug it up the stairs and through the house to the perfect spot in front of the french doors. Every year as I look at the trail of pine needles, I say ‘I can see why people buy an artificial tree; no needles, no mess, no cleanup, no watering, no lugging up the stairs.’  Well, this year is different because the day after we purchased our tree last year, we went online to purchase an artificial tree. I cannot believe I’m even saying artificial tree!   By the way, it’s the best time to buy as all trees were 50% off at Balsam Hill. So, this is the first year with our new tree. We are so happy we went this route and even up close, the tree looks real and best of all … no needles, no mess, no cleanup, no watering. Never Say Never!

This is a simple holiday cocktail. After all the decorating, shopping, wrapping, cooking and baking, kick your feet up and sip on a no-fuss, delightful libation. Sit back and admire your Christmas tree.

Holly Berry Cocktail
Cranberry Juice
Whole Cranberries (optional)

Pour Cranberry Juice into a flute glass, filling halfway. Fill remainder of glass with Champagne.
Garnish with Cranberries.


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